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“Wonder” reveals true meaning of friendship

Photo By Wonder The Book, used with permission

Photo By Wonder The Book, used with permission

Photo By Wonder The Book, used with permission

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Treacher Collins syndrome is a genetic disorder  affecting the appearance of the cheekbones, jaw, chin and ears. Through the movie “Wonder,” August Pullman (Jacob Tremblay), also known as “Auggie,” gives you a insight on what life with this disorder looks like.

On the inside, Auggie is just like every other kid who loves video games and Star Wars. The only thing that separates him from the other kids is the way he looks. That same reason separated Auggie from public school until the fifth grade. Auggie’s mom Isabel (Julia Roberts) pushed the idea of Auggie attending school in the belief it would be good for him, however Nate (Owen Wilson), Auggie’s father, believes the opposite. Nate expresses how sending Auggie to school is like “leading a lamb to a slaughterhouse.”

Auggie’s first encounter of his school was when his principal, Mr. Tushman (Mandy Patinkin), arranges a small welcome committee. Tushman asks three kids to befriend Auggie,  and show him around, and help the transition into school. However the welcome committee wasn’t as welcoming as hoped and Auggie was left sitting alone at lunch. A couple of days later  Auggie meets a new friend Jack Will, who sits next to Auggie in almost every class. Once Jack saw the true Auggie, he saw that he is more than what people see of him he is smart and reliable friend.

Finally Auggie found his passion for school all because he finally had a friend. However rumors soon arise that if you touched Auggie you would receive the “plague” which completely alienated Auggie. As if that wasn’t bad enough situation escalated on Halloween which is typically one of Auggie’s favorite days of the year, when he overhears Jack his so called “friend” tell Julian and other boys that if he looked like Auggie he would kill himself. Jack has no idea that Auggie overhears everything, Jack now continues to question why Auggie stops talking to him.

Eventually Jack puts everything together and figures out what he did. He feels horrible not only did he lost himself to gossip but he lost a true friend. From that Jack tries to save his friendship with Auggie but Julian tells him that being friends with Auggie is not worth it. Jack gets so angry that he punches Julian in the face and a fight breaks out between the two. After getting suspended for a couple of days Jack comes back to Julian turning all the boys against Jack and Auggie.

At the end of the movie everyone  view on Auggie shifts and everyone wants to become his friend realizing he is more then his facial difference that he is just like everyone else. Auggie then realizes that his hardships he faced only made him a stronger person in the end which left him with such courage and a bunch of friends.

I personally loved the movie, it truly hit home here at Whitney. I feel that throughout all of our high school careers. Whether you’re a freshman or a senior, we are all in a constant routine, a routine that often we don’t realize we are trapped in: practices, school, homework, clubs, studying, our social lives and work.  We see people but because of our routines we don’t take the time to truly get to know anybody. Instead we often judge people by what we see rather than what is happening beneath the surface.

Miranda is a perfect example of this.During the summer before freshman year, she goes through a lot of chances from dying her hair pink. Miranda also told everyone at her summer camp the story of Auggie and his family pretending that she was Auggie’s sister Via. Ashamed of the lies and popularity gained from this Miranda isolates herself away from Via and the Pullmans. Miranda was always secretly jealous of Via, Auggie’s sister, Via had a warm loving family and a wonderful brother despite the challenges he faced. In contrast Miranda faced a lot of family problems and lacked that warm loving family. Due to that when school started Miranda cut off contact with Via and stopped hanging out with the Pullmans. Instead of Via ever questioning Miranda’s absence she just thought disconnected herself and labeled it as a betrayal. Little did Via know that hardships Miranda faced.

I feel that same problem is something we all deal with; we don’t know what everyone goes through and we don’t know everyone’s story, so that’s why are we so short to judge. Imagine having your best friend disconnect herself from you and started posting depressing stuff all over her feed. What would you do? I know for me personally I would talk to that friend right away and figure out her outlook on things. So what is the difference when it’s just a kid in our class, maybe who you are sitting next to. Maybe it’s the girl/boy who sits alone, and all it takes is you to spark a change. Overall we are so obsessed with fitting in often we avoid taking risks. Not just any risks but risks like stepping out of your comfort bubble, being a light to others, randomly texting people to see how their day was, and being united as one no matter what differences. Today there is that one person in your life that just needs an extra push of hope and encouragement.

The book is better compared to the movie mainly just because it gives you more detail, however the movie brings those details to life, and you truly get to feel those feelings each character goes through. I think the director, Stephen Chbosky, did an outstanding job showing how life with a child with a disorder may look like, even through the challenges she played out through her part showcased the love and devotion her character felt towards Auggie. It’s definitely something everyone should see no regardless of age, everyone can learn something and most importantly, choose kind.



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“Wonder” reveals true meaning of friendship